Members of Cornwall Council have given their backing to the draft “Case for Cornwall” which sets out the increased powers and freedoms the they want to secure from the government to enable Cornwall to take greater control over its own affairs.

Presenting the Case for Cornwall, council leader John Pollard said Cornwall needed to have more local accountability, more local control, more local direction and more local democracy.

“Seeking more powers for Cornwall is not new – we have been striving for more autonomy for years” he said. “We have gained greater powers, skills and confidence over many years and I believe that now is the moment to lay our case before the people of Cornwall and then to government. 

“The Case for Cornwall being presented to the council today is not an abstract 'wish list' or a distant hope  - it is a clear, calculated case that can and will be achieved.  These are proposals which will enable us to deliver a better service to our communities and create a more flexible and sustainable Cornwall.”

Outlining the changes which had been made to the draft document which was launched for debate at the beginning of December, Mr Pollard said that the priorities set out in the updated Case for Cornwall document reflected the feedback which had been received from Members and partners.

The revised priorities include:

Public transport and connectivity – including additional powers to decentralise bus regulation and retaining a fraction of fuel duty to maintain Cornwall’s roads
Housing – including devolution of powers and land holdings from the Homes and Communities Agency, working with the government to identify ways of managing the number of second homes and retaining Stamp Duty to build affordable housing
Health and social care – including working with the government to integrate health and social care
Energy  - including greater control over large scale energy infrastructure and government investment in geothermal technology
Public sector efficiency – including devolved delivery of funding and investment streams

“I said in December we needed to create a document which would speak for the whole of Cornwall, for all sections of society and all interests, including businesses, local communities, and politicians. I believe that this document is the right starting point for achieving this aim,” said Mr Pollard.

“The Case for Cornwall presented to the council today is both realistic and achievable. It sets the agenda for a different approach, a determined approach, a Cornwall approach. While it may not be ambitious enough for everyone, and will be too extreme for others, I believe that this is a case that is practical, sensible and beneficial to all and will be supported by the vast majority of people across Cornwall.”

Following today’s decision by members to provide a mandate for the council to make a Case for Cornwall, the leader and deputy leader of the council and the chief executive will now engage with the government, national political parties, MPs and the public over the proposals set out in the document.  This will include initial discussions taking place with main political parties before March 26, with a more detailed document being submitted to the new government following the election.

During this period further work will be carried out to develop the proposals, with a cross party working group set up to oversee the progress of this work and strengthen the Case for Cornwall so the revised document can be submitted ahead of the parliamentary summer recess.